My clinic started as an interventional pain clinic, but I quickly realized that chronic pain was more than an isolated pathology of excessive pain. I have amazing tools that can relieve a patient’s symptoms, but I can’t reverse the course of the disease unless I treat the underlying cause, the metainflammation. Pain simply doesn’t become chronic in metabolically healthy people.
Unfortunately, less than 12.2% of the US population is metabolically healthy and more than 60% are overweight or obese.
Chronic diseases driven by obesity accounts for >$480 B direct costs. The total cost of chronic diseases due to obesity is > $1.7 T (about 9.3% of the US GDP or 47% of the total cost of chronic disease spending nationwide). These are MASSIVE costs, and overtime WILL BANKRUPT the US economy.
I believe that failing to treat the patient’s underlying pathology, the cause of the patient’s symptoms, is a disservice to the patient and to society.
Patients rarely seek preventative treatment, they most often wait for their symptoms to manifest, and pain is the cardinal symptom that drives them to seek care. Pain after all is the body signaling mechanism of impending tissue damage. Patients are also highly motivated and receptive to lifestyle changes when confronted with a lifetime of painful suffering.
I still have an interventional pain clinic, but now the interventions include lifestyle and chronic disease interventions that provide patients with tools and techniques to reverse metainflammation. We have gone from treating the patient in isolation to treating the community around the patient, to maintain adherence to lifestyle changes.